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January 03, 2012

Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Getting injured because of someone’s negligence, especially in a vehicle accident, compels you to file a personal injury lawsuit. First, though, you must hire a vehicle accident lawyer who can help you with the litigation process that will enable you to receive compensation from the damages the liable party caused you.

In a certain personal injury case like a vehicle accident, monetary damages are paid to you (the claimant) by another person or an entity found to be legally responsible for the accident (the defendant). The agreement for the awarding of damages to the claimant can be done through a settlement or negotiations between all concerned parties. The agreement can also be made through a verdict coming from the judge or jury in a court trial.

The most common form of damages is described as compensatory”. This means that the claimant is given compensation for the losses he acquired after the vehicle accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, compensatory damages can be either or a combination of economic or non-economic damages.

Economic compensation refers to the monetary settlements the liable party must pay for the claimant to be “whole again” in the financial standpoint. There are three major components that are under economic compensation, and these are the following:

·         Medical expenses, including the cost of treatment and recovery for the injuries sustained;
·         Income, specifically the loss of ability to earn money from being away from work because of injuries; and
·         Property, including reparation and replacement of damages sustained by the vehicle.

Non-economic compensations are compensatory damages that are not quantifiable with money. Moreover, it usually involves losses in the emotional standpoint. Here are some of them:

·         Pain and suffering that involves short-term or long-term discomfort because of the effects of the accident;
·         Loss of ability to do basic activities because of the injuries sustained and the subsequent recovery; and
·         Impact on emotions, especially if the accident caused psychological trauma.